I Move

19 May

I moved, and it was horrible.

I didn’t move out of state or out of the country. I moved within New York city in what every newyawkrer will tell you is a seasonal necessity. The rents rise and rise but our wages don’t, and while New York law dictates that the rents shouldn’t rise too high, there they go like a stubborn stampede..

When I was younger I’d keep all of my stuff in rolling luggage bags ready to go. I lived in Harlem, Astoria, LIC, Williamsburg, then slightly east of Williamsburg which may-or-may-not-be Bushwick, the LES (I know right?). Every move brought with it fear. You don’t want a neighborhood that’s too poor or too rich. I told my little sister that the best hoods were colorful, eclectic, but contained white ladies running at dusk. The white ladies running were key. You can call me problematic all you want but growing up poor makes you problematic. I can’t live in the hyper-gentrified white supremacist Silicon Valley utopia but I also don’t want to get shot thank you.

People don’t talk about how dehumanizing the moving process is, particularly when it’s motivated by the price-out. You run hoping to find a better place and now–more than when I was young–I find that I have more to lose. I see my partner’s stress, find myself tearing up on the train at the prospect of looking for places, and I can’t keep everything I own in a rolling luggage bag anymore.

But we did it. We moved. Like every indignity attached to adulthood this too passed and now seems like nothing.

Part of the dehumanization process weakened my writing. My will to read and to converse was at all time low. I made the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Second Round picks but didn’t make the Quarter Finals. I wasn’t reading on the subway. I started hating every book and every plot to every film.

Was that depression? Who knows? I don’t think it was. I think it solidified that idea that to write you need a room of one’s own. A wifi of one’s own too. You need the TWC man to come and give you a bunch of stuff of your own.

But this blog entry should let you know that all is well. Not sure if it is self-delusion, a charmed life, or what. But things always turn out well for me, and I hope for you too (‘well’ is the operative word there. I don’t mean well in the sense of completely balanced, but well in a way where your body allows yourself at least two hearty laughs a day). My partner isn’t stressed, we found a place bigger and cheaper than our place before, and I told him to buy as many damn books as he can because we’re staying put for a while.

 

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